Jake Arrieta threw 70 pitches through the third inning tonight, giving the impression that he wouldn't stick around much longer and the Orioles would make some feeble attempt to retrieve Jason Berken before he unpacked his bags in Norfolk.
Arrieta needed 15 pitches to complete the fourth and nine to get through the fifth. The A's were doing him a favor by no longer making him work.
Well, they worked him over a bit in the sixth, and he's out of the game.
Josh Reddick homered with one out to increase Oakland's lead to 4-1, and Arrieta departed after retiring Yoenis Cespedes on a fly ball to right.
Arrieta is charged with four runs and four hits, with two walks and three strikeouts, in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 105 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Three of the four runs came on the long ball.
In his last two starts, Arrieta has allowed nine runs and 10 hits in 10 innings.
The Orioles had a chance to cut into the lead in the fifth after Chris Davis led off with a double - their first hit since Nolan Reimold's leadoff double in the first inning - and Ryan Flaherty singled into center with one out. Third base coach DeMarlo Hale held Davis, and Cespedes' throw sailed up the first base line.
Robert Andino, back from paternity leave, grounded into a double play.
Update: The Orioles got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when J.J. Hardy doubled and scored on Adam Jones' two-out single. It appeared that Hardy might hold up, but Reddick bobbled the ball in right field. Jones is still credited with an RBI.
Update II: I thought seeing a little kid run on the field in Chicago would be the weirdest fan moment of the season, but tonight's episode might have topped it.
A male fan ran on the field during the seventh inning stretch, removed his orange T-shirt and darted through the outfield. He veered to the infield after juking a policeman, rounded third base and dived across the plate.
After hopping to his feet in a further attempt to elude police, he was tackled from behind by plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. And I don't mean gently.
In a related story, the Ravens just drafted Jeff Kellogg.